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Poland threatens to pull out of Israel Summit over WWII comments

The Polish Government on Monday threatened to pull out of the summit of the Visegrad Group in Israel following a spat between the two sides over Poland’s role in World War II.

Mateusz Morawiecki
Mateusz Morawiecki

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki cancelled a visit to Israel, saying that Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz would travel to the summit instead.

On Monday, however, Michal Dworczyk, the head of Morawiecki’s office, told Polish broadcaster Jedynka that the Polish delegation may not participate at all.

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“Considering the disgraceful statements from the Israeli foreign minister, any participation of the representatives of the Polish state in the V4 summit in Israel are under a very big question mark,” he said.

Dworczyk was referring to comments by newly-named interim foreign minister Yisrael Katz, who told i24News that “there were many Poles who collaborated with the Nazis.
“No one will tell us how to express ourselves or how to remember our fallen.”

The spat started when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a recent Middle East summit in Warsaw that Poles collaborated with the Nazis during the war and he didn’t know anyone who was ever sued for making such a statement.

Later, the Israeli side clarified that Netanyahu had spoken of individual “Poles and not the Polish people.”

The German invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, set off World War II.

In Poland, a new law has been in force for almost a year that imposes a fine for attributing responsibility to the Polish nation for crimes committed by Nazi Germany.

In addition to Poland, the Visegrad Group also includes the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

The group was founded in 1991. (dpa/NAN)


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